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Curated research library of TV news clips regarding the NSA, its oversight and privacy issues, 2009-2014

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Primary curation & research: Robin Chin, Internet Archive TV News Researcher; using TV News Archive service.

Speakers

George W Bush
President 2000-2008
KQED 05/13/2014
Bush: I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations.Narrator: It was the least controversial and smallest element of the program. There was no reference to the massive gathering of domestic communications data. Gellman: His characterization of the facts was simply wrong. And it was wrong from the beginning. The program wasn't to surveil known suspects, known conspirators. You could easily get a warrant for that. The program was to sift big data. It was to trawl through enormous volumes, literally trillions of telephone calls, trillions of emails, and to look for unknown conspirators.
Diane Roark
Staff, House Intelligence Committee, 1985-2003
KQED 05/13/2014
Roark: General Hayden's press conference introduced many of the tactics that the administration has used to deflect questioning and also to mislead the public. I was amazed at what he was saying, because it was not truthful; it was misleading. And that was the beginning of the spinning and the lies.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder The Intercept
ALJAZAM 05/14/2014
Greenwald: There's a huge, huge difference, fundamental difference between having the single company collect the information about you that they’re able to know when you use. their service. And Google can collect your Google searches. Yahoo can collect your Yahoo emails. And it's all divided and fragmented in the hands of these companies. Versus having the United States government systematically collect in a centralized way everything there is to know about you on line. There's a difference between corporate and government power. It’s the government can put you into prison, that can take your property and even that can kill you. Which is why the Bill of Rights and the Constitution can limits what the government can do because we look to government and state powers as being threatening.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder The Intercept
CSPAN 05/14/2014
Greenwald: It's a good question because so much of what is said here in Washington is designed to deceive and mislead the public. Such as Mr. Snowden should have invoked the protections he had under the laws of a whistleblower. Which is something President Obama himself said. And the reason that particular claim is so patently false is because the law that president Obama was talking about doesn’t even apply to private contractor employees such as Mr. Snowden which is significant because a huge part of the national security state is outsourced to private corporations. Something like 70% of the overall budget according to the investigative journalist Tim Shorrock that goes to the NSA ends up going to the functions of private corporations. But the broader point is about this idea that there are all these great whistleblowing procedures that he should've gone to Congress. The way the U.S. government is structured is to hide, not to eliminate secret wrongdoing by people in power.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder The Intercept
CSPAN 05/14/2014
Greeenwald: The best proof of that is that there are two democratic senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall who sit on the senate intelligence committee who have been going around the city and everywhere they can for years before Edward Snowden emerged warning the public that there are these radical surveillance policies that the Obama Administration has embraced. These are democrats. And the public would be stunned to learn about what it was that was being done. And yet, those two senators didn’t have the courage to disclose these programs even though they thought they were illegal because the system is designed to gag even powerful senators when they believe they’ve discovered the national security state doing wrong. And so Edward Snowden knew he couldn’t go to people like Ron Wyden and Mark Udall because they were impotent. The system ensures that they are and they themselves ensure that they were. And his only way to get the information to the public was to do what Daniel Ellsberg did which was go to newspapers and ask them to publish it.
Glenn Greenwald
Co-Founder The Intercept
CSPAN 05/14/2014
Greenwald: To me, the most difficult thing to understand was why was this 29-year-old who had a very stable life, had a prosperous career, a girlfriend whom he loved, a family that was supportive. Why was he willing to unravel his whole life, to throw it all away? Not to enrich himself, not to exact vengeance, but in defense of his political principle? And I need to know for myself, before I helped him do this, that he had thought this through and there were motives that were genuine that he understood. He finally was able to access those during that time and said, conscious demands that I not let these injustices linger. Because I don’t want to spend the rest of my life knowing that I did nothing I can only look at myself in the mirror if I know I took action in defense of the things I said I believe in.
Mark Klein
Whistleblower, Former AT&T technician
KQED 05/20/2014
Klein: I was furious because I never signed up to work for the NSA. But I was in my late 50s and I didn't want to lose my job. So I was stuck. And I was afraid. Narrator: Klein was afraid to speak out for several years. Audio TV reporting: The New York Times broke the story about the National Security Agency spying inside... Narrator: But went public after reading a front page New York Times story about NSA spying in 2005. Angwin: When Mark Klein came out and said, "I work at AT&T and the NSA is tapping into our network," that was the first time that the American public realized how far things had gone since 9/11. How much domestic surveillance there was. He raised this allegation. No one ever acknowledged that it was actually happening. It still remains an open question. But no one has ever denied it either.
Glenn Greenwald
Guardian Reporter
KQED 05/20/2014
Narrator: One of the first files they discussed was this one. It directed Verizon Business Services to turn customer phone records over to the NSA. The journalists were stunned. Greenwald: What this document revealed is that the NSA surveillance system is not directed at very bad people or about terrorists. It's directed at the American citizenry and other citizenries around the world, indiscriminately, in bulk.
Glenn Greenwald
Guardian Reporter
KQED 05/20/2014
Narrator: The document directly contradicted what Director of National Intelligence General James Clapper had said before Congress just a few months earlier. Wyden: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans? Clapper No, sir. Wyden: It does not? Clapper: Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly. Greenwald: I think for Snowden, the Clapper testimony was the final nail in the coffin. Watching President Obama's top national security official go before the Senate Intelligence Committee and outright lie about what the NSA was doing convinced him, I think, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that the only hope for public discussion and reform was for him to do what he was going to do.
Ben Rhodes
Deputy national Security Advisor
KQED 05/20/2014
Narrator: The Guardian decided to publish the story as fast as possible. They called the White House and gave them four hours to comment. Rhodes: I remember well getting the phone call. And it was one of these situations where it almost took us a few minutes to get our minds around how big of a leak this was and how comprehensive the set of revelations were. We had very little time to react. Narrator: They sounded the alarm and reached out to an NSA official, John DeLong. DeLong: I have two computers on my desk-- a classified computer and an unclassified computer. And I'm used to seeing that document on the classified computer. And I did a real double take. I remember just sitting there for 30 seconds checking and rechecking to see what computer this classified document appeared on. The gravity of it was quite palpable, and I thought, "This is going to be a really tough story as it comes out.
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